LINCOLN’S DILEMMA 

“Freedom wasn’t the work of one person”

Animated inserts and the Main Title sequence created by Studio AKA Directors: Steve Small, Marcus Armitage, and Gergely Wootsch; for this four-part historical documentary series that explores the complex journey to end slavery during the time of Abraham Lincoln.

 

Produced by Kunhardt Films for Apple TV+, the series is based on acclaimed historian David S. Reynolds’ award-winning book, “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” and features insights from a diverse range of journalists, educators, and Lincoln scholars, as well as rare archival materials, that offer a more nuanced look into the man dubbed ‘The Great Emancipator’.

Set against the background of the Civil War, Lincoln’s Dilemma also gives voice to the narratives of enslaved people, shaping a more complete view of an America divided over issues including the economy, race, and humanity, underscoring Lincoln’s battle to save the country, no matter the cost.

 

Dir. Montage Edits.

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Dir Gergely Wootsch Montage edit.

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Dir Marcus Armitage Montage edit.

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Dir Steve Small Montage edit.

Each episode includes reflective moments of the presidency that depict this tumultuous period in American history and are designed around the wealth of photographic images taken by Matthew Brady of Lincoln and the civil war period. The Kunhardt’s great-great grandfather’s collection of photos, the largest archive of civil war photography in existence – including over a hundred pictures of Lincoln – provided an incredible and insightful resource for the directors. The documentary covers the subject of slavery and emancipation, seen through the lens of race and the Presidential campaign, and gives a fascinating and illuminating insight into Lincoln’s life.

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Marcus Armitage

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Each episode also focuses on a specific period of Lincoln’s life and includes animated sequences that depict stories told from previously unheard perspectives. The sensitivity of the subject matter required dedicated research on the part of the animation directors, guided by the series directors Barak Goodman and Jacqueline Olive. Foremost in the challenges that the project presented was the complexity, emotion, and sometimes pure brutality of what needed to be portrayed while staying true to the myriad of historical details that were carefully curated and advised by the Kunhardts.

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Marcus Armitage

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

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Marcus Armitage

Animation Direction

The animation directors each took a slightly different yet symbiotic creative approach to the production.

 

Steve Small’s shots were based around traditionally brush-marked artwork, with carefully considered action and pace to portray complex imagery with a real sense of engagement into the stories. Marcus Armitage and Gergely Wootsch’s direction is rooted more directly in the resource of the photographic library. Both use their vision and capability in their techniques to navigate us through stories derived from elements of the glass photo plates archive provided, placing the viewer into each scene and providing a more experiential approach to their sequences.

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

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Marcus Armitage

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Gergely Wootsch

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Steve Small

The resulting sequences are beautifully bound into the substance of the documentary as a whole and add the missing dimensions to the overall storytelling, enabling the viewer to consider a deeper understanding of the complexities of life during the civil war; and from the perspective of voices not always heard.

 

Watch the Apple TV+ Trailer

Image for project Lincolns Dilemma

Discover the Apple TV+ Series HERE

Credits

For APPLE TV +

Client KUNDHARDT FOUNDATION

 

Production Company KUNHARDT FILMS 

Series Directors BARAK GOODMAN & JACQUELINE OLIVE

Based on the book by DAVID S. REYNOLDS

Series production credits in full at IMDB

 

Animation Production STUDIO AKA

Animation Directors MARCUS ARMITAGE  STEVE SMALL GERGELY WOOTSCH

Animation Producer NIKKI KEFFORD-WHITE

Production Assistant LARA SALAM

Editor NIC GILL

3D CGI team lead JAMES GAILLARD

Production Coordinator REN PESCI

Lead Animation/Artwork Coordinators JANINA PUTZKER MATTHEW ARMITAGE

2D animators AYLEN SOLANDER • EMMA EHRLING • OSCAR JACOBSON

3D animators KIM LEOW  IVAN DEL RIO

Artworkers JUSTINE WALDIE • MARTIN OLIVER  MANSHEN LO DIANA GRADINARU

CG Artists & Compositors JOSHUA CREW • WILL EAGAR • JEROME FERRA • DANIEL GARNERONE

VINCENT HUSSET • IGNATZ JOHNSON-HIGHAM • ADAM O’SULLIVAN AVERY

 

 

“We have produced multiple films, series and books about President Lincoln over the past two decades. At the start of Lincoln’s Dilemma we sought to produce something very different. With Apple TV+ as our partner we knew we wanted to push the boundaries and create something visually stunning. Enter Studio AKA. The visual look their team brought to this series allowed us to tell stories we never could before. Studio AKA not only stepped up to the challenge, they delivered some of the most powerful animations and creative visual storytelling we have ever seen in a documentary.”

– George Kunhardt, Executive Producer of Lincoln’s Dilemma

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